Possible to change window colors?

• Mar 4, 2015 - 05:59

is it possible to change the window frame color for MuseScore 2.0 to anything other then the kaki color it comes with? I'm sure this must be possible in QT, but its not exposed through the UI that I can find to change the color of anything other then the background canvas or the actual music page. Also is it possible to change the font used for the menu? My mom is old and she needs bold fonts.


If you go to Edit / Preferences, you will see two different themes - dark & light. For fonts, MuseScore uses whatever is configured in the operating system. So set your OS font to somethng bigger / bolder, and MuseScore will use it as well.

thanks for the tip about setting the windows font. That does make it possible to make it bigger and bold. In my view it does not look anything like the system font, looks like something else, it does become bigger and bold if I want. Doesn't seem to follow Windows ClearType or its not a TrueType font or something, less clear; not sure, its some kind of QT thing I guess. But at least I can boldify it for mom, though I didn't like the way that looked either, so...

I tried the dark theme, its worse. Too bad there is not more control over theming the UI. I've seen some other stuff on the net about being able to use a stylesheet to tweak the look of QT apps at runtime, with a pretty high degree of control too. I tried the -stylesheet option that is listed in the MuseScore docs, but it had no effect at all.

I realize there are probably a lot of different opinions on this matter, but I find the two-tone nature of MuseScore to be more difficult to work with. I prefer to see color used to draw attention to details of the UI in certain ways. Even though we have the option of kaki on brown vs brown on kaki, it still comes down to basically a two tone UI, It might as well be black and white. This part of MuseScore2 leaves a lot to be desired.

I love the functionality so far though, and mostly I guess I am totally in love with the typeset quality of the actual notation, which when combined with Bravura is giving Lilypond a serious run for the money. I never get Finale scores to look that good.

In reply to by underquark

Yea I said that. we have two options, both two tone. Kaki on brown or brown on kaki

I'm referring to the UI. The fact we can adjust the color of the paper or the canvas behind it makes things a little less boring but that has nothing to do with making the UI more easy to use.

Monochrome UI's are not easy to use, particularly when 3D is considered passe and everything is going to a more flatter look. Then color or grades of color become even more important to pop out important elements so your eye can spend less time looking around to find the geometric shape that matches the icon, button or UI element you're looking for. 3Dness used to help in this regard but now Apple and MS and everyone is going to more of a flatter design, ok fine, but colors or shades then become even more important.

This UI comes across very flat, very two-tone, very low-budge looking, even with the paper color adjusted and canvas. I prefer a white paper color anyway, so all that does really is pop the page out from the UI, which is GOOD! But I'd like other UI elements to pop out in the right ways. that is the point.

Opinions vary. I think over time this will not be the first time you hear this feedback. At the very least MuseScore oughta follow QT's ability to allow run time theming with stylesheets. then people can make themes for it and everyone will be happy.

In reply to by Dewdman42

... when combined with Bravura is giving Lilypond a serious run for the money.

Really? I'm not so sure about that. Maybe you could explain yourself further...

I never get Finale scores to look that good.

Now THAT is something I'm not too surprised about. :) To be fair, though, it is POSSIBLE to create high quality scores with almost any notation program. It just takes more work in some than others.

In reply to by tisimst

Realistically, we aren't going to produce results as good right out of the box as LilyPond for scores of any complexity. In particularly, we don't do much in terms of collision avoidance between different elements. So scores with lots of elements are going to require manual adjustment.

*But*, that said, entering the scores in the first place is generally easier in MuseScore than LilyPond, and performing manual adjustments when necessary is easier as well, so the overall time it takes to get similar results might be roughly comparable. And, compared to 1.3, there are some very significant improvements in basic layout such that I would say we do many things about as well as they do, and in one or two cases, maybe even slightly better :-). FWIW, here's an article from a year ago highlighting the improvements that had been made by that point; quite a few more improvements have happened since then:


In reply to by Marc Sabatella

...  compared to 1.3, there are some very significant improvements in basic layout such that I would say we do many things about as well as they do, ...

This I definitely agree with. I've followed the development here for a while now and I must commend everyone who worked to make these improvements happen. 2.0 is VERY much an improvement over what used to happen and new users will take it for granted. Excellent work! Well done!

... and in one or two cases, maybe even slightly better :-)

You've got me curious now... I know that LilyPond is not perfect by any means, but I'd love to see what you are referring to, if you have something available.

... *But*, that said, entering the scores in the first place is generally easier in MuseScore than LilyPond, ...

I can't say this is true or not since I haven't used MIDI input before, but I have seen arguments and case studies to show that this can be really helpful.

... and performing manual adjustments when necessary is easier as well, so the overall time it takes to get similar results might be roughly comparable.

Now, I used to think this too, but virtually every notation object has a property called "extra-offset" which can be modified by the user to do any manual tweaks necessary. It's less convenient to put in a number than click->drag, but it's a small price to pay for having to worry about fewer incidents like this.

Please don't get me wrong. I didn't mean to hijack this thread or in any way insinuate that MuseScore is incapable of producing professional output. It's VERY capable in the 2.0 state and I take my hat off to all the developers who made it that way. Perhaps I can reword the OP's comment to be "it gives [Sibelius/Finale] a run for [their] money"! To think that a community of individuals could come up with real competitors to their commercial counterparts AND make them available for FREE is really astounding! I know a lot of people already benefit from this volunteer effort.

And I apologize. I didn't mean to create an argument between MuseScore and LilyPond. I know plenty of people who use both, depending on what they need to do. Both are excellent programs. Both are very capable. They both have pros and cons. They BOTH give commercial programs a run for their money! And, other than the "well, everyone in industry uses Sibelius/Finale/etc., so I need to, too" line of thinking, I can't see why anyone would NEED to use them to publish their music, even professionally.

So, that's all I'll say. Thanks to everyone involved and keep up the great work!

In reply to by tisimst

Not to worry, it's a friendly rivalry, I don't mind the comparisons :-)

The couple of places I know where we do things better than LilyPond are some very obscure corner cases of accidental of beam placement. To be honest, I forget the details.

As for input, I'm not talking about MIDI; I'm talking about ordinary note entry using the computer keybaord, which goes at least as quickly for MuseScore as for LilyPond and is rather easier to learn. For true experts, either might be about the same - similar actual number of keystrokes either way for many things, probably. What it really comes down to for most people is not raw efficiency but rather the degree of "think" time required, which is going to be very personal and hard to compare.

As for putting in a number versus click-drag, actually, I dislike dragging - I prefer keybaord control as it is more precise and repeatable. MuseScore gives you all three options, though :-)

Anyhow, I would never try to claim we produce *better* results or that we definitely can produce equivalent results *faster* in raw speed for expert users. Just that the results can be surprisingly close, and considering the "think time" factor, many people will indeed get results as good in similar time.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

We are getting a little off topic, but I will entertain it since some interesting parties chiming in.

What i meant in my comment about giving them a run for the money is this:

Finale, Sibelius, Overture, Notion; I've spent some time with all of them. I have all the fancy books about how to engrave with Finale and get into the details of it, etc. Nonetheless, the scores I make with those programs all have a certain look that looks very much like it was done on a computer. I have tried different fonts, I have tried playing with all the different settings. Lilypond always had my interest because they use certain little tricks in the rendering that makes the music look like old school hand-typeset printing. But I tried Lilypond, its just not fun or easy for me to work with. So I decided I could live with the computer-looking scores for the sake of being able to use a GUI. Now with Bravura and whatever other changes have been made to MuseScore, in my opinion the output is very much looking like that old-school typeset output, similar to what lilypond has done for years. I'm sure lilypond must have some great features that avoid collisions or the ability to handle obscure scoring situations, but for simply outputting simply scores that have that old-school look to them, its gorgeous! Part of it is probably Bravura, but not only that. So for me, this brings me back to be interested in using it.

Now that being said, I will say that if I was producing stuff for a publisher on a regular basis I would not consider using anything other than Finale or Sibelius because they are a standard in the industry and they have such rich and deep control over so many things. Also MuseScore would probably not be my choice for orchestra work where I need to also produce part sheets, but maybe I will change my mind after I work with it a while. But that kind of working output doesn't need to look old school, it can have the computer look to it and be perfectly functional. It becomes much more critical in that case that the output is functional, readable, no collisions or other problems with as little time spent as possible getting it ready without errors. But for producing something to print out some little piano piece of my own that I might think about printing in a book or something, I love the old school look and MuseScore acheives that better then anything I have seen from any of the big name notational programs. Only lilypond has ever impressed me that way before and for some of us a text based language is just not an acceptable solution.

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